Presser Leftovers: Port on TV, Mardi Gras and Ceremonial Consideration

By Jeremy Morrison, Inweekly

Much of this week’s mayoral press conference was devoted to the area’s spiking COVID cases, but Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson also detailed a few other items. In addition to the municipal port being featured on a television show, there was also talk about potential plans for Mardi Gras, as well as the possibility of moving next week’s city council installation ceremony outdoors.

The Best Port in the World?

The Port of Pensacola will soon be featured on the television show “World’s Greatest,” Mayor Robinson said Monday.

“We have lots of things happening at the port and I’m excited they’re now going to be on the “World’s Greatest” TV show,” he said.

With episodes of the nationally-broadcast show are set to air Nov. 23 and Dec. 7. The show will feature Port Director Amy Miller and focus on the city’s historic, deepwater facility.

“I’m not saying that we said we have the world’s greatest,” Robinson joked, “but I am tangentially going to allow Amy to take credit — if we have the “World’s Greatest” TV show come here, then we’re going to call it that.”

Mardi Gras Before Nightfall

With Mardi Gras season on the horizon, Mayor Robinson said the city is currently considering how best to accommodate the annual celebration — which features parades and events — in the era of the coronavirus.

“It’s going to take all of us being a little bit creative in the way that we do it,” the mayor said.

Robinson said that Mardi Gras celebrations in the city will be held with a focus creating an environment with “much less congestion” than usual. Also, the city is looking to schedule event during the daytime and outside.

“I would say there’s going to be a lot of discussion about that,” Robinson said, later adding that “the challenge is going to be more night parades, I don’t think we probably want to do night parade and things, but I think we do celebrations and celebrate Mardi Gras in a way that is still in the daylight hours when we still have UV and the sun out.”

Ultimately, though, Mardi Gras events will carry inherent risks due to the nature of large gatherings, and the mayor stressed that people will need to decide for themselves whether or not to attend: “I would say, overall, if you have concerns about yourself and your health — all of us are going to have to make individual decisions of whether we go or not.”

Council Outdoors?

Next week, the Pensacola City Council will see the addition of several new members. The installation ceremony, which typically attracts a larger-than-normal crowd, may be moved from Pensacola City Hall to an outdoor space in an effort to create a safer environment in light of the current increase in COVID cases.

“Doing it outside would probably be more prudent, with the numbers,” Robinson said.

Escambia County will be conducting a similar event at Maritime Park, inside the Pensacola Blue Wahoos stadium. Mayor Robinson said that the city may do likewise.

“We haven’t sat down with [council executive] Don Kraher and talked about that, but it’s probably something we should think about,” he said.